My marital woes
Every lazy saturday morning at about ten, I am the only one who knocks her doors for breakfast and we have one of those rare, intimate, personal conversations
She: Sie sollten besseres um Ihrem Raum, es kümmern sind schrecklich schmutzig (You should take better care of your room, it's awfully dirty)
Me: (Smiling) I have no idea what you are saying.
She: Ich denke, daß alle Sie indische Männer wie das sind. Ich bin für Ihre Frauen traurig (I think all you indian men are like that. I am sorry for your wives)
Me: Yeah, india - good country. you should come sometime
and like this we talk for hours until both of us are tired of each other. The other day as she was giving me one of those salty omelettes, she pointed to the omelettes and said, "Taine mama" (or something like that. I have no idea!). I stared back at her giving her one of my trademark confused looks (while I try to multiply 123x247 in my head to make it look authentic). She repeats it four or five times and I still have no idea (Stop looking at me like I am a bozo. Even google doesn't have an idea of what she's saying). It finally strikes me that mama might mean mother and I say, "yes, mother. also makes wonderful omelettes like this". Relieved, she finally starts for the kitchen, gets a brain wave and turns back and says, "Wife?". I roll my eyes and say, "No, too early!". She asks again, "No wife?", looks at my omelette and me, looks up at the ceiling and then again at me.
And Zzziing .... everything came back to me.
Last time I was here, I was with ~P, my classmate, colleague and a great friend. I have to say that both of us complemented each other very well. I wanted good food and she wanted some "good" company while cooking. And it's not like she did all the work - we shared our responsibilities equally. She did most of the cooking and I did most of the eating. And this strategic alliance went on for three months. We typically used to cook together everyday and initially, she was staying in another hotel that was quite far. So, I requested our dear guest house lady to accomodate her in the same guest house as I was in. We then used to go for breakfast together, and in those "few" occasions she locked herself out, the knight in the shining armor (me!) would brave the cold and call upon the land lady to give me the spare keys. She put all these 2s together and made an 8 quite soon. And one fine day when ~P was sleeping, our land lady knocked on my door regarding some papers. As I was finding them for her, she looked around and asked me where is my wife? My what???? I then told her that she was my friend and that she's sleeping in her room. She pointed to the ring and gave me a questioning look. God knows what all questions ran in her mind - extra marital affair probably :))
Anyway, tortoise mosquito repellant rolled back again and we are in the future. I realize she's not looking at the omellete but at my ring. She remembers the girl, the ring but not the whole explanation I gave her on a cold, winter night. I want to tell her that it's my mother's gift to me. But I realize using mother in this context will only complicate things more and she might even throw me out of the house. So, I give one of my stupidest grins and stare into my omelette as if it's an X-ray report.
And I am asking god why in his own name, didn't he give my mom a daughter. The "sad" family truth is I don't have a sister and my mom always wanted a daughter. So, for every alternate birthday, I get a jewel as a gift. I already have two rings (one in each hand), a chain. My brother got the bracelet and both of us have categorically told her that neither of us has an intention of wearing trinklets EVER. And in sometime, I will parade in SAP's campus looking like Michael jackson or Elton john.
Before I leave, just another incident that happened in france (when I was 21). I was having lunch with this east european girl and every once in a while, she will have a question on her lips but refused to ask me. Realizing there's something that's seriously botherring her, I assured her that I wouldn't take any offence.
"So, how does it feel?", she asked, "being married so soon?"
"I don't know. I am not even 21 yet and I am definitely not married". It was then I realized the ring connection and gave her a grimace.
"How would I know! I know there's child marriage and all that in India. And I thought you were one of those victims!".
A victim - Indeed! MOM!!!!